The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed anger on Wednesday over the US House of Representatives passing legislation in support of Hong Kong protesters, describing it as "shocking hypocrisy" toward human rights and democracy and vowing "strong countermeasures."
"We express strong indignation on and firm opposition to the US House of Representative's passage of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act," the ministry’s spokesman, Geng Shuang, said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the situation in Hong Kong "has nothing to do with human rights or democracy," with the main efforts of the city authorities aimed at ending violence and defending the rule of law.
"The US House of Representatives is disregarding and distorting facts by referring to serious criminal offenses such as arson, smashing of shops and violence against police officers as an issue of human rights and democracy. That is a stark double standard. It fully exposes the shocking hypocrisy of some in the US on human rights and democracy and their malicious intention to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability to contain China's development," the statement added.
Beijing also warned that if the bill became law, it would harm not only China's interests and bilateral relations but the United States itself, since the latter "has important interests in Hong Kong."
"China will definitely take strong countermeasures in response to the wrong decisions by the US side to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests," Shuang said.
He reiterated that Hong Kong issues were "purely China's internal affairs" and urged Washington to "stop meddling" in the situation.
On Tuesday, the US lower house passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which stipulates an annual State Department review on whether the city is "sufficiently autonomous from China." It also introduces annually reports on the possible use of Hong Kong by China to evade US export controls and sanctions. The other two pieces of legislation voice general support for the protesters and temporarily freeze US exports of crowd control equipment, such as rubber bullets and tear gas.